Page 87 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 12

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81
GOODMAN---- LOVE OF BOOKS
And who had money?
?
ימלו היה ףסכ
The one who bought the book.
.
הזל
הנקש תא
רפסה
And who bought the book?
?
ימו הנק תא
רפסה
The owner of the book bought it.
.
לעב
רפסה הנק
ותוא
And who is the owner of the book?
?
ימו אוה לעב
רפסה
The one to whom the book belongs.
.
הז
רפסהש ךייש ול
And to whom does the book belong?
?
ימלו ךייש
רפסה
The signature which followed the above device further attested
to the pride and joy of the book owner.
The proud possessor of books may also be discovered by portrait
bookplates in which the likeness of the owner is fused with his
books. This attestation of oneness is typical of many book-lovers.
The legend on the portrait bookplate of an American rabbi reads:
“From the library of J. Leonard Levy.” A picture of the owner,
seated at a table and reading a book, is the attraction of the
Ex-libris.
Rabbi Levy (1865-1917), author of a number of pub-
lications, was elected chaplain of “Keegan’s Brigade of Penn-
sylvania Volunteers” during the Spanish-American War and later
served as spiritual leader of Rodef Shalom Temple in Pitts-
burgh. Another example of a portrait
Ex-libris
is that of Dr.
Samuel W. Boorstein, a veteran Zionist of the Bronx, N. Y.
Within a frame of Jewish symbols copied from illustrations in
Hebrew books, the bookplate portrays the owner’s library where
he and his father are seen reading. It was made just before Dr.
Boorstein donated his collection of about five thousand Hebrew,
Yiddish and English volumes to the public library of Nahariya,
Israel.
A portrait bookplate sometimes depicts the owner’s loved ones,
thus associating his love of books with the persons most dear to
him. The
Ex-libris
of Mitchell M. Kaplan (1882-1944), who
donated an unusual collection of rare Hebraica and Judaica to
the New York University Jewish Culture Foundation, shows an
open scroll with the quotation in Hebrew:
םילבח
ולפנ
יל
םימיענב
“The lines [possessions] fell unto me in pleasant places” (Psalms
16.6). This verse symbolizes the owner’s most cherished posses-
sions: his wife, his books and a writing set. Thus, the bookplate
also depicts a portrait of Kaplan’s wife, piles of books, a quill
and an ink-stand.
A similar theme dominates the bookplate that Ephraim Moses
Lilien, whose numerous
Ex-libris
have gained for him universal
recognition in this area of the graphic arts, etched for his wife,
Helene. This exquisite bookplate consists of an open book at the
bottom and, on top, in a beribboned oval, the head of his handsome
son. In between is the inscription in German: My Child — My